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Old December 17th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #401
hkskyline
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German railway fed up with lack of competition in France: letter
16 December 2008
Agence France Presse

The German railway Deutsche Bahn is fed up with a lack of competition in France and has fired back at recent charges from French counterpart SNCF, in a letter of which a copy was obtained by AFP.

"We no longer want to accept the lack of reciprocity between Germany and France," Bahn boss Hartmut Mehdorn said in a letter sent to French counterpart Guillaume Pepy.

"The opening of the German market has advanced further than in France," and "the SNCF, like other French companies, profits greatly while we and other foreign companies always come up against the same problems in France," Mehdorn said.

Those problems included "a closed market for passenger transport, a market that is theoretically open but inaccessible for urban transport, and major obstacles" in the freight sector, he added.

Mehdorn also said he was "surprised and affected" by strong attacks last week by Pepy against Deutsche Bahn.

Pepy claimed that a Bahn subsidiary had hacked into the SNCF computer system to try to hire train drivers away from the French group.

The accusation "was groundless" Mehdorn said.

He added that the German railway had "not yet begun any official approach" towards investing in the high-speed Eurostar train that connects London with Brussels and Paris.

British press reports have said Deutsche Bahn would like to buy the part in Eurostar now owned by British interests, which Pepy had said was "premature, pretentious and arrogant."

Tension has risen between the French and German rivals in particular since Deutsche Bahn and the Italian railway complained about a lack of European competition in a letter to the European Commission.

The German company has also sought recourse in court against the attribution in October of the public transport market in the southwestern French city of Bordeaux to the French group Keolis.

It had previously been operated by the French company Veolia.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #402
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
German railway fed up with lack of competition in France: letter
16 December 2008
Agence France Presse

The German railway Deutsche Bahn is fed up with a lack of competition in France and has fired back at recent charges from French counterpart SNCF, in a letter of which a copy was obtained by AFP.
Oh poor Germans. Fed up with the French railway protection.

How about looking at the protectionist closed policies across MANY industries in your own country before criticising the French (which do indeed deserve criticism for their own closed markets).

Anyway. I await with glee to see what 2010 brings. Either competition, or collapsing railway companies creating a monopoly on the continent.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #403
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Eurostar sees record passenger numbers
Financial Times
Tuesday January 13, 10:20 AM

Passenger numbers on Eurostar, the cross-Channel high-speed rail service, grew more than 10 per cent in 2008, thanks to improved journey times and a more accessible London terminus.

Growth would have been still faster, however, without disruption in the last quarter following the September 11 fire in the Channel Tunnel, which continues to restrict service frequency and is prolonging journeys.

The operator, jointly managed by the UK's London & Continental Railways, France's state train operator and the Belgian national railways, carried a record 9.1m passengers during 2008, up 10.3 per cent from the 8.26m it carried during 2007.

Much of the growth was a result of the opening in November 2007 of the second section of High Speed 1, the UK's first dedicated high-speed rail line.

The opening cut journey times on the core London-Paris and London-Brussels routes by around 20 minutes, giving best journey times on London-Paris of two hours 15 minutes and on London-Brussels of one hour 51 minutes.

The new route also brought trains into St Pancras International, which is more accessible for most passengers than the previous terminus at London Waterloo.

The full-year growth, however, was markedly slower than the 18.3 per cent growth recorded in the first half of the year because of the disruption caused by the Channel Tunnel fire.

Eurostar has had to cancel one service a day in each direction between London and both Paris and Brussels because of the fire. Services take 20 minutes longer because of speed restrictions in the tunnel and the availability of only one tunnel for the last 17km of the 50km twin-bore undersea tunnel on the French side. Eurtounnel, the tunnel owner, hopes to complete repair work by mid-February.

Eurostar's revenues grew 10.9 per cent to £664m, from £599m in 2007. The operator said the economic downturn had so far had little effect on it.

Richard Brown, chief executive, said the increase of 1m passengers in the year demonstrated beyond doubt that passengers preferred high-speed rail to short-haul air.

"The short-term outlook for 2009 is challenging, but the long-term prospects for Eurostar and high-speed rail are very good," he said.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #404
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The operator, jointly managed by the UK's London & Continental Railways, France's state train operator and the Belgian national railways, carried a record 9.1m passengers during 2008, up 10.3 per cent from the 8.26m it carried during 2007.
9.1m passengers...

You can imagine that Eurostar, before profitable, is vital.

Even if they use planes with 180 pasengers on average, they would need more than 50,000 flights to serve all of them.

Not to mention they would need around 137 departures every day, only for several cities.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #405
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They will manage finally to finance the chunnel one day... Way to go Eurostar, lets go for 10 million passengers/year and open new roads to Alps in winter and make new movies and make people dream about "murder stories" in Eurostar like Agatha Christie did it with the OrientExpress... You know, people like to dream in trains, one writer was saying that stories can happen in trains that cannot happen somewhere else. Trains have something sexual (specially when dealing with tunnels), musical (when wheels hit the joints between rails), practical (of course), meeting place (you can speak with complete strangers or friends), historical and technological, trains have reinvented themselves very well so far. They are alive and kicking!

Now lets hope that the Eurostar will bring one day Queen Elisabeth or I would prefer King Williams (If Elisabeth resigns this year) to Brussels to sign full integration treaty of UK in Europe! Europe cannot live without United Kingdom and UK cannot live without Europe. Lets ratify those last treaties and everything will be much better for everybody (Schengen, Euro money), UK is Europe, being an Islander is a concept of mind nowadays, we live in a global world
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Old January 16th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #406
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Well said my friend! I do agree that trains are more enjoyable way of transport, then planes, because of those things you mentioned! Perhaps in the future, more people will appreciate travelling by train, rather then trying to save a few euros or pounds on "destroyers of the environment"(planes, lol).
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #407
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Channel tunnel repairs to end
20 January 2009
Financial Times

The Channel tunnel will be back at full capacity from the night of Sunday February 8 after repairs following a fire, its operator said yesterday.

Eurotunnel said the end of the work would mean it had the capacity to run six truck shuttles, the company's most lucrative traffic, an hour in each direction from February 9.

Eurostar has said it will resume its full passenger train service through the tunnel on Monday February 23.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #408
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I hope the Germans do take over. Eurostar is obscenely overpriced. I wish they'd raise capacity in the channel tunnel too
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 11:15 AM   #409
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Fear of fire disaster forces tunnel chiefs to act
31 January 2009
The Times

The Channel Tunnel is finally to have a sprinkler system fitted after the third fire in 12 years forced Eurotunnel to admit that it had underestimated the risk of disaster deep under the sea bed.

Burning trains will stop at "extinguishing stations" that will be built at intervals along the 31-mile (50km) twin tunnels.

Heat detectors will locate the fire and high-pressure jets of water or foam will be aimed automatically at the source as soon as the last passenger has escaped into the service tunnel.

Eurotunnel, the French-dominated company that operates the tunnels, is being forced to act after a lorry caught fire in September and caused a 1000C (1830F) inferno that melted cables and destroyed the tunnel's concrete lining.

Millions of passengers and lorries have suffered delays and cancellations for the past five months because all trains have been diverted to the other tunnel. Repairs are costing more than £50 million and normal train services will not resume until February 23.

It was the third time that a lorry travelling on an open wagon had caught fire, the previous incidents being in 1996 and 2006. Car shuttle trains have carriages that can be sealed and filled with a suppressing gas in the event of a fire Eurotunnel spent years debating, then testing, sprinkler systems after the first lorry fire, which closed one tunnel for six months. But it refused to pay for a system to be installed and claimed that the risk of a similar fire was remote.

The company has now admitted its mistake and is drawing up plans for an advanced sprinkler system, similar to one that will be installed on the new rail tunnel under the Alps connecting Lyon and Turin. The system will first have to be approved by the Intergovernmental Commission, which oversees tunnel safety. It is unlikely to be installed before the end of next year.

Bruno Bouthors, Eurotunnel's safety director, told The Times: "People might ask why it wasn't done before, but the fire in 1996 was thought to be exceptional and the one in 2006 was small. The latest fire is showing we need to prepare for the worst case." He said that the system would prevent fires from spreading out of control, allowing time for the firefighters to get to the scene via the service tunnel. In the fires in 1996 and in September, firefighters arrived too late to prevent severe damage.

Mr Bouthors said that the extinguishing stations would be located so that a train could arrive at one within 15 minutes of a fire being detected. He admitted that a fire-suppression system had been considered before the tunnel opened in 1994. He said that it was easy to be critical in hindsight, but at the time the risk of a lorry fire was thought to be very low.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, said that Eurotunnel was acting after years of "putting cost before safety" but it was not enough. Lorries should be in closed wagons and should be banned from carrying extra tanks of cheap fuel from the Continent.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #410
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I still can't understand how the trucks caught fire with their engines off?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:16 AM   #411
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European railway liberalization by 2010

What do YOU expect from the coming (2010) liberalization of the european railroad market?

For over a century, european railroads had little more in common than standard gauge. Then along comes the EU and from 2010 everything goes.

What do you think the pros and cons of this will be? Are you afraid of losing your 'national' railroad company? Are you afraid of privatization or do you expect a boom similar to what happend in the aviation market?
Will eastern-european nations rapidly gain new rolling stock at the cost of losing their state-owned companies?

Will governments continue to pick up the cost of buildin the infrastructure? Who will look over the shoulders of giant corporations and keep competition going on?

Is it even possible to create real competition on commuting / 's-bahn' / services, or only in long-distance?

Will this speed up the construction of high-speed lines everywhere, including eastern-europe? What about ETCS?


What's gonna happen?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #412
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I will create two things: A Luxurious train that runs from Porto to Warsaw and From Edinburgh to Athens. Better than the Orient Express!

The second, I will create new material, lighter and fast (range from 100 to 180 km/h that runs without electricity or diesel and will be able to drive on whichever track in Europe to carry passengers and open new markets. And I will kill the price of current companies that have to deal with electricity or Diesel to run their trains.

Third, I will create strategic alliances with boat and plane companies to create new areas of opportunities. So trains will fly and planes will float!

Fourth, I will buy old material and convert it into living houses, discos, exhibition cars and shops.

Just need a few millions to start seriously (it is very serious!)

I don't fear too much for National companies, I fear for people. I hope that the quality of service will be better but I fear also that we will soon have to pay an expensive price to travel (true to reality) if we don't change something in the way railways are run today.

Thank you Europe!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #413
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What do YOU expect from the coming (2010) liberalization of the european railroad market?

Transport Tycoon-style services, without planification, without integrtaion.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:27 AM   #414
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As seen in the UK, liberalisation causes fragmentation so that you get a worse all round service.

However I do think this may be a good thing as inter european railways are already fragmented. Things such as rail team are going ahead so it could be good.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #415
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Well, the case of GB is quite different. Here we are not speaking of fragmentation, but of internationalisation of the big companies. That will bring profit to them, but I also hope that it will bring quality and comfort to everyone. And the other thing - major reduction of prices, because if a big company has a greater routes network, it will have more revenue, and it will need smaller percent of profit to sustain itself and pay its investments - and will offer smaller prices for better quality.
And I am looking forward to see new trains on the Bulgarian railways.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:37 PM   #416
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We will definately see an element of fragmentation in ticketing, pricing, standards and facilities, to some extent.

Which is why i hope more standards can be introduced to keep it all simple and easy.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:56 PM   #417
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The changes in 2010 only involve international passenger rail travel and freight, so it will have little effect on most national railway companies. It's a little much to say "everything goes".
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:18 AM   #418
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Quote:
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The changes in 2010 only involve international passenger rail travel and freight, so it will have little effect on most national railway companies. It's a little much to say "everything goes".
i meant more like "anything's possible"
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #419
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Liberalization? During the global economical crisis?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #420
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I would say "convergence". Countries that have invested heavily in new tracks will get the "pleasure" of putting them at the disposal of neighbours who perhaps have not. (The French are fuming over having Deutsche Bahn transport German passengers fast through France...) This may not induce them to invest heavily in the future. OTOH railway companies with crappy rolling stock will be easy victims of foreign and domestic competition. They will no doubt squeal about this, but it is squarly in the interest of their clients. We have the first example already: NTV in Italy, throwing the newest of the new HS trains up against the ETR500 that FS only bought in the first place because of national preference.
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